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Health Library : Lab Tests & Results Print [PDF]
Browse by the First Letter(s) of the Lab Test
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Chromium measurement, urine

What is this test?

This test measures the amount of chromium, a mineral, in urine. It is used to evaluate and manage exposure to chromium or a chromium deficiency[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8].

What are related tests?

  • Serum chromium level

Why do I need this test?

Laboratory tests may be done for many reasons. Tests are performed for routine health screenings or if a disease or toxicity is suspected. Lab tests may be used to determine if a medical condition is improving or worsening. Lab tests may also be used to measure the success or failure of a medication or treatment plan. Lab tests may be ordered for professional or legal reasons. The following are possible reasons why this test may be done:

  • Chromium deficiency
  • Toxic effect of chromium

When and how often should I have this test?

When and how often laboratory tests are done may depend on many factors. The timing of laboratory tests may rely on the results or completion of other tests, procedures, or treatments. Lab tests may be performed immediately in an emergency, or tests may be delayed as a condition is treated or monitored. A test may be suggested or become necessary when certain signs or symptoms appear.

Due to changes in the way your body naturally functions through the course of a day, lab tests may need to be performed at a certain time of day. If you have prepared for a test by changing your food or fluid intake, lab tests may be timed in accordance with those changes. Timing of tests may be based on increased and decreased levels of medications, drugs or other substances in the body.

The age or gender of the person being tested may affect when and how often a lab test is required. Chronic or progressive conditions may need ongoing monitoring through the use of lab tests. Conditions that worsen and improve may also need frequent monitoring. Certain tests may be repeated to obtain a series of results, or tests may need to be repeated to confirm or disprove results. Timing and frequency of lab tests may vary if they are performed for professional or legal reasons.

How should I get ready for the test?

Urine:

To prepare for giving a urine sample, be sure to drink enough fluids before the test, unless you have been given other instructions. Try not to empty your bladder before the test.

24-hour urine:

During a 24-hour urine collection, follow your usual diet and drink fluids as you ordinarily would, unless healthcare workers give you other instructions. Avoid drinking alcohol before and during the urine collection.

How is the test done?

A sample of urine may be collected randomly within the day or over 24 hours for this test.

Urine:

To provide a sample of urine, you will be asked to urinate into a container. Fill the container as much as you can, but do not overfill it. Urine samples may also be taken from a catheter.

24-hour urine:

For a 24-hour urine collection, all of the urine that you pass over a 24-hour time period must be collected. If you are in the hospital, a healthcare worker will collect your urine. You will receive a special container to collect the sample in if you are doing the collection at home. The following are directions for collecting a 24-hour urine sample while at home:

  • In the morning scheduled to begin the urine collection, urinate in the toilet and flush away the first urine you pass. Write down the date and time. That is the start date and time for the collection.

  • Collect all urine you pass, day and night, for 24 hours. Use the container given to you to collect the urine. Avoid using other containers. The urine sample must include the last urine that you pass 24 hours after starting the collection. Do not allow toilet paper, stool, or anything else to be added to the urine sample.

  • Write down the date and time that the last sample is collected.

  • The urine sample may need to be kept cool during the 24-hour collection period. If so, keep the closed container in a pan on ice. Do not put ice in the container with the urine.

How will the test feel?

The amount of discomfort you feel will depend on many factors, including your sensitivity to pain. Communicate how you are feeling with the person doing the test. Inform the person doing the test if you feel that you cannot continue with the test.

This test usually causes no discomfort.

What should I do after the test?

Urine:

After collecting a urine sample, close the container if it has a lid. Place the container where the healthcare worker asked you to put it. Clean your hands with soap and water.

24-hour urine:

When 24-hour urine collection is complete, close the container and seal the lid tightly. Return the sample in the urine container to the facility or healthcare worker as instructed. If you had the sample in an ice bath, return the sample within two hours after removing the container from the ice bath.

What are the risks?

Urine: A urine test is generally considered safe. Talk to your healthcare worker if you have questions or concerns about this test.

What are normal results for this test?

Laboratory test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and many other factors. If your results are different from the results suggested below, this may not mean that you have a disease. Contact your healthcare worker if you have any questions. The following is considered to be a normal result for this test:

  • Adults and children: 0.1 to 2 mcg/L (1.9 to 38.4 nmol/L) [9]

What follow up should I do after this test?

Ask your healthcare worker how you will be informed of the test results. You may be asked to call for results, schedule an appointment to discuss results, or notified of results by mail. Follow up care varies depending on many factors related to your test. Sometimes there is no follow up after you have been notified of test results. At other times follow up may be suggested or necessary. Some examples of follow up care include changes to medication or treatment plans, referral to a specialist, more or less frequent monitoring, and additional tests or procedures. Talk with your healthcare worker about any concerns or questions you have regarding follow up care or instructions.

Where can I get more information?

Related Companies

References

  1. Stridsklev IC, Schaller KH, & Languard S: Monitoring of chromium and nickel in biological fluids of stainless steel welders using the flux-cored-wire (FCW) welding method. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2004; 77(8):587-591.
  2. Anderson RA, Polansky MM, & Bryden NA: Stability and absorption of chromium and absorption of chromium histidinate complexes by humans. Biol Trace Elem Res 2004; 101(3):211-218.
  3. Kornhauser C, Wrobel K, Wrobel K, et al: Possible adverse effect of chromium in occupational exposure of tannery workers. Ind Health 2002; 40(2):207-213.
  4. Kuo HW & Wu ML: Effects of chromic acid exposure on immunological parameters among electroplating workers. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2002; 75(3):186-190.
  5. Bahijri SMA & Mufti AMB: Beneficial effects of chromium in people with type 2 diabetes, and urinary chromium response to glucose load as a possible indicator of status. Biol Trace Elem Res 2002; 85(2):97-109.
  6. Barceloux DG: Chromium. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1999; 37(2):173-94.
  7. Baruthio F: Toxic effects of chromium and its compounds. Biological Trace Elements Research 1992; 32:145-153.
  8. Moukarzel AB, Song MK, Buchman AL, et al: Excessive chromium intake in children receiving total parenteral nutrition. Lancet 1992; 339(8790):385-8.
  9. Tietz NW (Ed): Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests, 3rd ed. W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA, 1995.

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